Trump: Illegal Immigration Is ‘Destroying Our Country’

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‘We have prisoners coming in,’ he said.

Former President Donald Trump defended his comments on immigration, while his critics accused him of using Hitlerian language for saying illegal immigrants are “poisoning the blood of our country” during his recent campaign rally.

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Dec. 22, President Trump was asked whether he was aware that Hitler used the phrase to mean that “Jewish blood cannot be part of German blood.”

“No, I never knew that Hitler said it either,” he said. “I never read Mein Kampf. They said I read Mein Kampf. These are people that are disinformation, horrible people that we’re dealing with.”

Mein Kampf was written by Adolf Hitler during his imprisonment in the 1920s and translated as “My Struggle” in English. The book served as a manifesto for Nazi Germany, expressing Hitler’s anti-Semitic views, racial theories, political aspirations, and his vision for the future of Germany that led to acts of genocide against the Jewish people.

Mr. Hewitt asked whether President Trump intended any racist sentiment by the term. He denied it, saying, “Dear, no.”

“I know nothing about Hitler. I’m not a student of Hitler. I never read his works. They say that he said something about blood. He didn’t say it the way I said it either,” the 45th president said. “It’s a very different kind of a statement. What I’m saying when I talk about people coming into our country is they are destroying our country.”

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During his campaign rally last week in Durham, New Hampshire, President Trump told his supporters that illegal immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country” as they were “pouring into” the United States from “all over the world.”

In the interview, President Trump kept raising the concern of illegal immigration: “This country’s—we have prisoners coming in. We have mental patients coming in by the thousands. Really, by the millions, because you take a look, I believe that number will be 15 million people. Maybe more than that” by the time President Joe Biden leaves office.

In addition, the former president told Mr. Hewitt that he promised to “peacefully surrender” power at the end of his second term if reelected.

“I did that this time,” President Trump said, referring to the 2020 election.

During the interview, President Trump also said he would not rule as a dictator but that he would “rule as somebody that’s very popular with the people.”

Earlier this month, President Trump joked with Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would not be a dictator “Except for Day One” to address border security and drilling issues.

Reactions

Last week’s “poisoning the blood” remark from the former president sparked reactions from both Republicans and Democrats.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he did not care much about language choice but focused on the right solution for border security. “You know, we’re talking about language? I could care less what language people use as long as we get it right,” Mr. Graham told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

But Vice President Kamala Harris condemned the 45th president during her interview with MSNBC, saying, “It is language that is meant to divide us. It is language that I think people have rightly found similar to the language of Hitler.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said that “it’s unhelpful rhetoric,” while anti-Trump former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called it “disgusting.”

Immigration is one of the key issues in the 2024 White House race, and it is one area where Republican candidates are doing better than their Democrat counterparts. According to a Monmouth University poll released on Dec. 18, a record high of 69 percent of Americans disapprove of President Biden’s handling of immigration, while only 26 percent approve.

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